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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 12, 2010

'League' copies Apatow's sweet, crude blend


By Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Jay Baruchel is Kirk, who no one can believe is dating Molly, played by Alice Eve, in "She's Out of My League."

Paramount Pictures

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'SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE'

R, for language and sexual content

104 minutes

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Kirk is so bird-chested he doesn't even fill out his TSA airport security uniform. He drives a battered Neon, has next to no ambition and apologizes to one and all at the drop of a hat even if it was somebody else's hat.

Women walk all over him. "You're a moodle," his pal Stainer complains, "a man poodle."

And Molly, the blonde who has a law degree but who would rather be a high-end, highly paid event planner? "She's a hard 10," Stainer notes. "A HARD 10."

What on Earth could she see in him?

The sweet-spirited and well-acted "She's Out of My League" takes that "Knocked Up" / "50 First Dates" loser guy-hot girlfriend cliche around the block a few more times. There are a few sensitive scenes, but it's the big blasts of raunchy that deliver the laughs.

Jay Baruchel plays Kirk, who is just witty enough that we can almost believe the stunning Molly (the stunning Alice Eve) would give him the time of day after she leaves her phone at airport security and he chivalrously delivers it to her at a swanky party.

Baruchel ("Knocked Up," "Fanboys," "Tropic Thunder") plays put-upon well, never better than in the scenes in which he all but begs his thoughtless-and-faintly-cute ex-girlfriend (Lindsay Sloane) to take him back. He has lots of chances to grovel, because she also works at the airport and she's in the habit of bringing her new beau to his house. She has adopted Kirk's parents.

But Molly ends that groveling in one bombshell heartbeat. The only problem? No one not his friends, not hers, not his parents (Debra Jo Rupp is a slack-jawed hoot) or hers can believe it.

"You being with Molly defies the laws of nature," Stainer (played by T.J. Miller, a cut-rate Jason Segel) declares.

But the half-cute couple presses on, though one and all stare at them in stupefied wonder.

Unknown director Jim Field Smith doesn't get maximum laughs out of the "There's Something About Mary" bodily fluids moment here, but he uses Pittsburgh well, letting the lad nicknamed "Pirate" take Ms. Out of His League to the city's attractions. Baruchel is winning, in a whiney way. And Eve ("Starter for 10," "Stage Beauty") makes Molly more than a "hard 10," but a woman with issues and depth.

No, we still don't believe them as a couple. No, there aren't many surprises here. But "She's Out of My League" demonstrates that the Judd Apatow blend of sweet and crude can be photocopied, even by the guys who scripted that "Sure Thing" ripoff, "Sex Drive."